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Negligence in nursing: common examples

On Behalf of | Aug 9, 2022 | Nursing Home Negligence

People expect that a nurse will keep their loved ones safe as nurses are held to a high standard of professionalism. Patient safety should always be a primary concern in New Mexico healthcare facilities, and unsafe behavior may show negligence on the part of the nurse.

Healing the patient is the goal of nursing and the medical profession. Nursing negligence does happen sometimes, however. Negligence occurs when a competent nurse does not follow the approved standard of care. Here are some examples.

Failure to respond

The nurse may need to make patient care a priority. If there is a call for help, and the nurse does not answer, this could be deemed negligence.

Documentation mistakes

When patients are given or prescribed medication, it must be documented. Medication is typically given under the direction of a higher medical authority, such as a doctor or physician’s assistant. The nurse must monitor all medication given. If a nurse does not give medications on time or in the correct dosage, this could be negligent. Sometimes, they may even give the wrong medicine.

Unreported changes in patient status are also problematic. They can cause dire consequences, and not notifying the doctor might be negligent.

Abandoning patient care

A nurse may leave a patient without giving reasonable notice. This may cause harm to the patient. Notifying the other staff is vital when care is not there.


Nurses may be guilty of negligence, or there may be a more serious issue of medical malpractice by a nurse. Nursing malpractice happens when a nurse knowingly and willfully does not follow the proper standard of care resulting in harm to the patient.

Negligence on the part of the nursing staff happens. Providing good patient care and enforcing safe conditions are the duties of the nurse and an expectation of the profession.


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